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Meet The Startup Managing Railways Massaging Service

| Published on June 11, 2019

Traveling long hours an be extremely exhausting which is exactly why Indian Railways has now introduced head and foot massage services for its passengers through Indore based startup Calipso.

Calipso is a beauty service startup based in Indore with its physical store at the Indore Junction but thanks to its tie up with the Western Railways passengers travelling through trains will now be able to enjoy a good relaxing session of head and foot massage. 

The startup will be available for service in over 80 trains with direct access to 1,50,000 passengers.

Founded by Gaurav Rana and Shubhra Shrivastav in 2016, Calipso raised a funding of $2 million from an undisclosed investor. However, Shubhra is no longer associated with the da

Sharing more about the new development Gaurav said, “There will be marketing stickers at every coach with a contact number. The head and foot massage services will be provided between six in the morning and 10 in the night. Every service provider will be carrying their identity card for police verification and will also be in their Calipso uniforms.”

The services will be divided into three categories – gold, diamond, and platinum. The physical salon at the station will provide quick beauty services like haircuts, threading, and cleanup.

Gaurav added, “Within one year, we will start our services in 500 trains along with physical stores at various railway stations.”

Apart from this, Calipso is also setting up a 2 lakh sq ft beauty and wellness resort which will be operational from August this year.


The startup is being mentored by Vinod Sood, an early investor and mentor of OYO. 

On the decision of choosing Sood as the mentor, Gaurav said, ““There is this fire and passion in Gaurav that I see, which makes me believe in his idea and dream. He isn’t a likely candidate that most mentors would choose. Gaurav doesn’t have a pedigree degree, his English communication skills aren’t perfect, but I know of his journey and there is a fire in him that I believe will make him win. Most mentors tend to back safe candidates, but here it wasn’t about the ticks in the boxes, it was about what one can do with passion.”

Gaurav who ran an event management firm before starting Calipso got the idea by looking at his mother, who worked as a beautician who was fairly well-known and would be called on for house visits. She used to get contracts for marriages, but that was limited to only people who knew or had heard of her.

“In this world of knowledge asymmetry, I felt it was important that people had an idea of every service provider while being able to understand their ratings and book them whenever they wanted,” says Gaurav.

In order to get this done, Calipso tied up with salons, ranging from the basic to premium. The team also tied up with independent beauticians and freelancers. As of last year, the startup claims to have clocked revenue of Rs 60 lakh. It also has a tie-up with IIM Indore.

Gaurav adds that the company works through a revenue-sharing model with freelance stylists and salons, and has its own trained beauty professionals on payroll. The team intends to have a pan-India presence soon with 60 to 70 percent repeat customers.

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